A Heritage site & working museum with a restored & operational water wheel in Summerhill, Blaydon on Tyne, in North East England
Touch, feel and smell for those with impaired vision.
Wild Flower Garden
Created from an embankment on the Waggonway, it is being seeded every year to try to improve stock and is now showing signs of seasonal continuity.
The Willow House
This is a nature controlled process and we have to rely on natural growth to develop over time.
The Sun Clock
Set up for British Summer Time, giving a fairly accurate check on the time, needing only one commodity –SUN!
The Stone Seat
A dry stone walling exercise by waller, Donald Gun, who teaches the profession. This project was carried out as a training programme for students in dry stone walling. (The only reason we have this wonderful structure is due to Foot and Mouth Disease stopping their usual practical experience on farm projects. Thanks Donald.)
The Island Project
This is a substantial extension to our millpond and water resource. Funded by a substantial Landfill Tax grant from SITA. This greatly extends our ‘Water Margins’, allows extended running time for the mill and creates an island in the pond for those who want to sit and draw or paint, or just sit quietly soaking up nature and peace.
Forming part of the path is a collection of bricks produced by the local pits and brick works.
The clay used in the making of the bricks was a by-product of coal mining.
There were two large brick works locally, both owned by the Cowen family in Blaydon Burn, although many smaller works also existed.
The Wind Pump
Donated by a farmer at Gorfen Letch. This has been substantially rebuilt. The gearbox rebuild was carried out by MKW Engineering at Stargate. Work on the sails, tower and pump has been carried out to a very high standard by our own volunteers on site.
United Kingdom Turf Map
A map of the United Kingdom, cut out of the turf with numbers marking the locations of towns and cities, has been created and developed into a geographical location quiz.
Moving on over the bridge that crosses the incoming stream to the pond, you can see how red the streambed is.
This is from the high iron levels that occasionally occur if there has been heavy rain or frost which causes the ground and old mine workings to be disturbed.
This hydraulic ram pump uses waterpower to pump water against gravity.
It works on the principle that liquids can not be compressed, so some water flowing through the pump is forced up to the reservoir at the top of the site. This hammer action is the knocking sound you can hear.
The Reed Bed
The reed bed helps to clean the water by filtering out some of the dissolved iron and sediment that it carries.
This is the highest part of the site and is our energy store, holding water from the ram pump and wind pump.
This is piped back to the mill tailrace to give us the maximum useable head of water to drive the propeller turbine.
The Water Feature
A decorative feature using overflow water from the reservoir.
Rutland 913 Wind Turbine
Mounted high on a corner of the Pole Barn is our wind turbine. It was kindly donated by12Voltz Ltd. Of Staveley. This unit generates 12 volts for the site and can provide small scale lighting for the winter months.
Savonius Wind Turbine
This is a vertical axis turbine which will operate at very low wind speeds. As it does not need to turn into the wind as more conventional windmills do, it copes well with wind direction change and will work whichever direction the wind blows from.
Our in-house barbeque for events, functions and private parties.
Set out with tapered bricks found on site, these firebricks were used for lining fireboxes or anything requiring a heat resistant surface. Two circles are formed with the arrow pointing North.
The Cowen Brick Collection
On the entrance to the visitor balcony, you can see some more examples of the locally made Cowen bricks.
You are welcome to view our display area and discuss our wind and water power projects.
Our basic power source is a 1920's Climax wind pump from Garfen Letch and rebuilt by our volunteers and the resources of MKW Engineering. The wind pump will supply water to an elevated reservoir. 12v electricity will be generated on demand from a propeller turbine driven by water supplied via the reservoir.
Further environmental developments are being carried out, including the commissioning of a reed bed below the new reservoir. This should reduce contaminates from our water supply, making it possible for a wider variety of wildlife to live in the pond.
The staff at Path Head are always on hand to discuss any aspect of the site. Let's see if we can iron out the problems we have for future generations when fossil fuels run out and renewable energy is all we have left.